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For this exercise, you’ll work together to investigate the credibility of a web site, based on the following scenario.


You have just gotten a job as a personal assistant to Mary Highpower, the CEO of Innovative Solutions, Inc., the company where you’ve been hoping to work. Even better, the CEO has promised you that if, in the role of her personal assistant, you demonstrate good judgment and strong communication skills, she will promote you to the better-paid dream job that you really want.

Innovative Solutions, Inc. is a company whose mission is to come up with creative, evidence-based solutions to the world’s problems. As CEO, Mary Highpower believes that company policies, such as employee work hours and environment, should also be based on a sound judgment of what’s best for employees and business alike, since evidence shows that healthy, happy employees do better work. Besides, Mary Highpower is one of those rare CEOs who genuinely cares about her employees, much as she cares about finding solutions to the world’s problems.

This morning, Mary is in a hurry to catch a plane to London for a business trip. As she’s waiting to board her plane, she sees the following in her Facebook feed, shared by the CEO of another company she often does business with:


The warning concerns Mary a great deal, but she doesn’t know what DHMO is, and she doesn’t have time to look into it. Just before boarding her plane, she sends you a quick e-mail, asking you to go to the link above (click the image above to go to the link) and to the main web site, (Links to an external site.), to research the matter, and to e-mail her your findings and recommendations by the time her plane lands in London.

Specifically, she wants to know:

How great a threat is DHMO to her employees, and why?
Should she hire someone to come test the building for traces of DHMO and to eliminate any DHMO they find?
Should she create a company policy prohibiting employees from bringing anything containing DHMO to work?
How did you reach your conclusions? She wants to know this because you’re still new, so this will help her determine how much she can rely on your conclusions. She’s depending on you to tell her enough about what’s on the web site (and any other relevant information), as well as about how you evaluated the information and came to your conclusion, to enable her to feel confident that your assessment is sound.
Of course, you may be able to impress her with additional ideas that will be useful to her; you’ll have to decide that for yourself.

For this exercise, go to the following link on the web and dig around!