Grants:TPS/Ragesoss/History of Science Society 2013/Report
This Wikimedia Participation Support report has been accepted by the Wikimedia Participation Support Committee.To see the original request, please visit Grants:TPS/Ragesoss/History of Science Society 2013.
Event name: History of Science Society Annual Meeting 2013
Description of your participation: I conducted a Wikipedia "workshop", which was attended by about 12 historians of science. It was an informal workshop, as I was not sure what to expect in terms of the interests of the attendees; I planned for presenting an overview of history of science on Wikipedia (view stats, general quality and balance of coverage, what topics are tricky to work on), open discussion, and hands-on help getting started for anyone interested.
I also spent a lot of time talking with historians individually, outside of the workshop.
I also participated in two strategic planning sessions that the History of Science Society ran, in order to refresh the strategic plan of the organization. (I was invited to do so because of my experience with the Wikimedia community.)
What lessons were learned that could help others in similar events? It seems like there has been a sea change in attitudes toward Wikipedia among academics, compared to ~5 years ago. The great majority of professional historians of science (and probably academics in general) now recognize the importance and impact of Wikipedia, and have an interest in it and how it works. It's not hard to foster interesting discussions, and having such discussions in the natural inclination of academics. However, such discussions are not particularly beneficial to the projects, except in a very general sense that it's good for more people to understand how Wikipedia works. The next time I do a workshop or presentation to a similar audience, I would try a little more rigid and action-oriented structure, perhaps beginning with account creation and moving on to discussion from there.
What impact did your participation have on the Wikimedia Mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation? As far as I know, none of the people I talked with have created accounts yet or begun editing. However, several professors I talked with have an interest in participating in the Wikipedia Education Program; I don't yet know how many will follow through.
The Hisitory of Science Society leadership is also interested in finding more ways to work with Wikipedia and/or supporting and encouraging members who want to do so. I will be following up with the society on possible cooperative projects.
Detail of expenditures:
- Hotel: $290.13
- Airport parking: $31.00
- Local transport in Boston: $2.50
- Registration and air travel: nearly all covered by NSF grant via the History of Science Society
- Uncovered air portion of air travel: $24.80
Amount underspent/left-over (please specify currency): I requested $807, including $300 for travel and $507 for hotel. My air travel ($235.80) and meeting registration ($100) was nearly covered by a $311 travel grant from National Science Foundation. I'm asking for $33.50 to cover the airport parking and the airport shuttle in Boston and the remaining $24.80 for air travel that was not covered by the NSF grant, for a travel underspend of $241.70. The hotel cost of $507 assumed I was rooming alone at the conference rate of $169 per night (and that did not include taxes). I found a roommate to share the cost, so I underspent $216.87 on hotel. The total left over is $458.57