We are privileged to have some civil servants who spend years on the same policy area, drilling down into the detail so that they know it like no other. Dodging the civil service’s tendency to churn people around in the hope they’ll become a ‘generalist’, these people become true experts in their field.

One such person was Ron Egginton, whom we remember today in the Foreword to our newest publication, Open Access: Is a national licence the answer? He knew the policy back-to-front and engaged skilfully with the relevant stakeholders and with ministers, and he has been sorely missed since he passed away before his time just after leaving the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

He might not have agreed with everything in our new report but he would surely have welcomed its contribution to an important debate.