Call for Volunteers

Call for Volunteers
History of Science Society 2013 Annual Meeting
Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel
Boston, Massachusetts
21-24 November 2013

Volunteer and Receive a Complimentary Registration to Attend the 2013 History of Science Society Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts

Graduate students are invited to volunteer at the HSS Annual Meeting for 4.5 hours in exchange for their registration fee. Graduate students at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are required to work 2.25 hours for 50% reduction in registration. (This is because those schools are our host institutions.) There are a number of jobs for which we need assistance to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly.

Packet stuffing: 3-4 volunteers are needed the Wednesday evening before the conference (20 Nov) and the Thursday morning (21 Nov) to collate and stuff attendee packets. This is a behind-the-scenes job, which will not require interacting with attendees and comfortable attire is permitted.

Registration Desk: We need volunteers from 11:30 am Thursday to 11:00 am Sunday (24 Nov) to welcome attendees, check them in, give them their registration materials, conduct on-site registration as needed, answer questions, and be the first line of assistance for any issues that may arise. While there will always be an HSS staff member on hand, this job requires volunteers to be helpful, polite, and presentable.

Collective Book Exhibit: 1 volunteer per shift will be needed to staff the HSS/PSA table in the exhibition hall from Friday morning (22Nov) at 11:30 am to Sunday morning at 11:00 am. This table will contain book titles from publishers who could not send a representative. As with the Registration Desk, these volunteers will need to be helpful, polite, and presentable.

Volunteers local to the Boston area are encouraged to think about volunteering for shifts either early or late in the conference. Since many out-of-town volunteers arrive only during the middle of the conference, the outlying shifts are harder to fill but these shifts offer the advantage of having fewer conflicts with the program. This is especially true of the Wednesday evening Packet-Stuffing session before the conference begins.

We would also like to spread local volunteers among the many shifts, so that someone with local knowledge will be on hand to answer questions about the community. Please let us know when applying if you can be helpful in this regard.

Regardless of the job you are assigned we hope that all volunteers will be flexible during their shift as needs arise and the unexpected happens.

Early volunteers will get first pick of shifts and jobs, but we ask everyone to be flexible so that everyone can be accommodated. It is essential that if you do commit to a shift that you arrive on time.

Although volunteering for 4.5 hours will earn graduate students their registration, you will still be responsible for paying for dinners, hotel, transportation, and all incidentals.

If you are interested, please contact Matthew White in the HSS office at for more information.

Finally, publishers who attend the exhibit typically look for students to staff their tables during lunches, author interviews, breaks, etc. The publishers pay and/or provide books for such service. If you are interested in doing this, please let me know. I will give publishers a list of interested volunteers and they will contact you. This arrangement is between the volunteer and the publisher, and is not counted as part of your volunteer obligation to the History of Science Society.

For more information on the History of Science Society go to