In October 2010, British scientific research received a hammer blow with the announcement of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government’s Comprehensive Spending Review. With an unsustainably high fiscal deficit in the aftermath of the great financial crash of 2008 and the government bail outs of several British banks, including the rushed merger of what was, as a result, the world’s largest, and the election of a government more attuned to austerity than Keynesian stimulus, a swathe of unprecedented cuts in the public purse of an average 20-25 per cent had been anxiously awaited through the summer, including at Britain’s universities. On 22 October, the axe finally fell.