Why not put to a vote of pre-registered conference-goers the "on the
bubble" presentation proposals, a month or so ahead of the conference.
Leave, say, 5 slots and put to a vote the 10 proposals that were considered
so-so by the selection committee. Let the attendees decide what they want
Also, use the online survey ability for attendees to rate all the
presenters (NOT anonymous -- everyone who files an opinion needs to
identify themselves so they stand behind their rating and words). Those
with unambiguously bad ratings don't get asked back. Those with ambiguous
ratings need to pass a careful consideration process for their next
proposal. Those with unambiguously good ratings are invited back.
This may fly in the face of some modern organizations (not necessarily
ARSC), but why can't we put direct accountability and quality-assurance
measures in place?
Tom, I don't think you meant to, but this comes off like a vote of no
confidence in the programming committee. That there would be 10 acceptable
proposals among rejected papers is really optimistic. Was Rochester
really that bad? I was kind of PO'ed as I had served on the two previous
program committees, was not asked back and not notified I was no longer
serving. I was not the only one in that boat, and later the ARSC Board
agreed that going forward, should that situation arise again it would be
handled differently. But in terms of the difference between Rochester and
the conferences I worked on, I was not able to attend LA, but New Orleans
really wasn't significantly different in terms of the quality of the
programming. It was about the same.
What you seem to desire is a different pool of proposals to draw from than
we usually get. To get that, I would suggest that you reach out to people
who are not in ARSC, or are perhaps not aware of it, and to encourage them
to submit a paper. I do it all the time, and it's difficult; no one I have
reached has taken me up on it. In fact the Charles Taze Russell paper I
gave in Rochester was originally slated for the fellow who collected all of
that material relating to the PhotoDrama of Creation. But he changed his
mind about presenting, so I proposed it instead, because I believed the
paper was important and especially suitable for ARSC.
I admit I had my feathers ruffled by the notion of "direct accountability
and quality-assurance measures" in relation to conference programming. We
generally do not have enough information, nor such a wealth of proposals,
to assure quality in absolutely every case. And I don't think much can be
done to improve it other than to ask for longer, more detailed abstracts,
which would result in another kind of hassle -- when in the conference call
the question goes out "what is the premise of this talk?" then someone has
to read it over the phone. I really think the main improvement that can be
made is what goes into the front end in terms of proposals; if you want
stellar papers, call your stellar friends and acquaintances and have them
Uncle Dave Lewis
On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I think an analysis of the types of presentations could lead to more
> balanced use of time slots.
> For example, there are often presentations by people who have written
> They usually have a few nuggets relating to research techniques and are
> otherwise promos for the book.
> I suggest we have the authors distill the nuggets and reduce the promo
> stuff. The authors can then be given a panel that follows the banquet and
> precedes the awards.
> Steve Smolian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 9:06 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote
> Here's a suggestion ...
> We now have an online polling/voting system available, currently being used
> for the ARSC 2.0 survey.
> Why not put to a vote of pre-registered conference-goers the "on the
> presentation proposals, a month or so ahead of the conference. Leave, say,
> slots and put to a vote the 10 proposals that were considered so-so by the
> selection committee. Let the attendees decide what they want to see.
> Also, use the online survey ability for attendees to rate all the
> (NOT anonymous -- everyone who files an opinion needs to identify
> so they stand behind their rating and words). Those with unambiguously bad
> ratings don't get asked back. Those with ambiguous ratings need to pass a
> careful consideration process for their next proposal. Those with
> unambiguously good ratings are invited back.
> This may fly in the face of some modern organizations (not necessarily
> ARSC), but why can't we put direct accountability and quality-assurance
> measures in place? I think it would only improve the conferences. Make the
> onus squarely on the presenters -- be interesting or else (you've wasted
> people's time and money, you've thus not accomplished your goal and you
> won't be invited back). Why should the onus ever be on the audience -- find
> this guy interesting or else (you've wasted your time and money attending)?
> Seems to me that this is customer satisfaction 101 stuff. It also forces
> presenters and selectors to have one goal -- make an interesting and
> relevant presentation for ARSC Conference attendees. Not, make your
> bones, satisfy a degree requirement, prove that you've used a grant or
> an ax. Basically, you're saying from the get-go, we know people have
> ulterior motives and we're here to tell you to forget about it, just make a
> relevant and interesting presentation on a topic of enough interest to
> justify your place on the program.
> -- Tom Fine