Idea / Suggestion for new SaaS: double-blind presentation submission for upcoming events, battle sexism /HT @lanyrd

So the topic of sexism in selection of IT conference papers is in the news a lot, recently.

No women on panels, no women presenting, “the organisers should check their presentation acceptance policy”; there’s nothing I can write about it which has not been written elsewhere, often better.

Short of affirmative action and the other issues discussed in the above, an obvious “geek” approach to solving the issue would be an evidence-based, double-blind techie one; a website for an upcoming conference / semi-unconference event provides a standardised way to submit presentation abstracts, together with dire warnings towards maintaining anonymity; or at least, providing an opportunity to break-out the identity information to some place that the paper-selection committee will not be able to see it.

Then… well I think you can see where this is going. I’ve been to several conferences where paper-selection is ad-hoc, has weird and apparently arbitrary voting systems etc; I suggest more standardised options like:

  1. freeze all submissions upon [DATE] and download a blinded CSV for the selections committee
  2. freeze¬†all submissions upon [DATE1] and provide unique’d Reddit-like voting for signed-up attendees until [DATE2]

It strikes me that the perfect website to do this would be Lanyrd.

Simon, Nat, what do you think? The idea is obvious, really…

2 thoughts on “Idea / Suggestion for new SaaS: double-blind presentation submission for upcoming events, battle sexism /HT @lanyrd

  1. Simon Willison

    Hi Alec,

    We’ve been keeping a close eye on this area, in particular the success that JSConf had with their blind presentation submissions.

    Handling CFPs for events isn’t on our direct roadmap for the moment, but it’s certainly captured in our backlog!

    Cheers,

    Simon

    Reply

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