I, like many in the information security industry, submit talks to a number of conferences every year. The more conferences I submit to, however, the more apparent it becomes (at least to me) that a more scientific approach to the call for papers/proposal (CFP) process is required to reduce bias. I’m not saying that any or all of the CFP committee participants, or the conference itself, is guilty of malicious or intentional bias. Science has shown that there will always be irrational cognitive biases, whether intentional or not, that affect our decision making process. In a CFP process this could manifest itself as bias towards any number of things such as a particular topic, an individual’s past, sexual orientation or identification, company or industry affiliation, and even the grammar of the submission itself.
I see the CFP process as a reproducible experiment. As such, an experiment of this nature requires a number of things to be conducted successfully in a measurable and repeatable fashion. The following list of ideas are the result of a personal brainstorm of what I would like to see included as a part of the CFP process (in no particular order):