How about subtracting points if a design that is voted for fails synthesis? The current point reward scheme (as I understand it) awards points but never subtracts points. This has the effect that if a particular design already has a good share of votes, then I am also compelled to vote for those designs since my only chance of being point rewarded is if a design is selected for synthesis (and it is successful.) So, leading-vote designs get even more votes simply because they are leading, not necessarily because they are better. If I vote for non-leading designs, even though I think they are better, I am throwing my vote and chance for point rewards away. But, if points were subtracted when a person votes for a design that fails, then much more care would go into voting for the truly best designs, regardless of the current vote count.
Slydog: This is a great suggestion! The current lab voting system is imperfect in many ways, but it was always intended as a temporary bridge to EteRNA’s bright future. Happily that future is approaching very quickly and one or two things are going to completely change the voting system:
Moving to a hot-or-not like system which will allow many more designs to be evaluated and which will have strong game-theoretic properties.
Synthesizing A LOT more designs. So many more, in fact, that we’re going to have to get rid of voting and hot-or-not entirely.
So sit tight. Some really exciting developments are on their way.