ARL paper receives Editor's Choice Award

October 08, 2015

By Jenna Brady, ARL Public Affairs

Supported under the laboratory's External Research Campaign, U.S. Army Research Laboratory Fellow Dr. Bruce West, ST/senior scientist of mathematics and information science, and ARL postdoctoral fellow Dr. Adam Svenkeson along with University of North Texas coauthors Pensri Pramukku and Professor Paolo Grigolini recently authored a paper that was accepted for publication in European Physics Letters and received the Editor's Choice Award.

According to West, the referred paper, "The value of conflict in stable social networks," supports the intuition that without individual members that challenge them, congenial groups, such as promotion committees and boards of directors, tend to reach consensus in the form of "groupthink"—sometimes with devastating consequences.

Moreover, stated West, maximum information is exchanged between groups when both are internally challenged to make optimal decisions.

"It is satisfying to have the results of mathematical calculations recognized as providing insight into human behavior and have the gatekeepers indicate that one's research may be more than an incremental contribution to research," said West.

"In addition, this paper shows how an entry-level ARL researcher can make significant contributions to scientific research and have that work acknowledged on an international stage," West stated.

European Physics Letters publishes original, high-quality papers in all areas of physics, ranging from condensed-matter topics and interdisciplinary research to astrophysics, geophysics, and plasma and fusion sciences, including those with application potential.

The Editor's Choice Awards were given to papers covering important new research, in topical areas, that the board found particularly insightful and useful. All of the articles included in this collection will be free to read until Dec. 31, 2016, at


Last Update / Reviewed: October 8, 2015