The Sound of Silence

"The Ear and Hearing Journal has rebuked a Washington University researcher for failing to disclose that he was working as a paid expert for a siren manufacturer when he published a study saying firefighters weren't at risk for job-related hearing loss," reports David Armstrong. The study's author, William W. Clark of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, claimed that "no external funding was received for this study." In fact, Federal Signal Corp., which manufactures emergency equipment, helped conceptualize the study and acquired the original data for Clark, according to documents uncovered in a lawsuit filed by Chicago firefighters. The Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out in 2006 that "Federal Signal lawyers paid Clark $9,300 in consulting fees while the study was underway and a $25,000 retainer for future testimony shortly after its publication."