This month we had one of the most sad news we could give to our INDCOR community: our colleague and friend Josep M. Polo passed away due to a sudden heart attack while he was walking with friends through the mountains, as he used to do almost every Sunday.
As you could check in his e-mail footer, he was “proud member” of COST Action 18230, an also member of its Communication Team (and I can not tell you how happy he was about joining this COST Action). His last project was the design and development of the newsletter. He was professor at Faculty of Communication of Catholic University of Murcia, Spain.
He was not an early bird at the academic world, but this was not an obstacle to develop a successful beginning, with many publications and even some books, the last one was “Vender en Internet” (UOC, 2019).
He came to the Academia after a huge professional career on digital business, digital marketing and e-commerce. Consequently, his academic focus was on sharing economy, trust and digital reputation. Also he was the first online defense of a PhD at UCAM, due to COVID restrictions.
As an INDCOR colleague told me, the picture of him that day, quarantined at home and defending his PhD with his kids and wife watching him, “is tear-jerking to say the least”. He published that picture on Twitter, with the following message: “I defended the doctoral thesis in full quarantine. Successfully. With not a few difficulties but with great enthusiasm. I had a magnificent court and a wonderful audience. I cannot be happier” (Twitter, April 29, 2020).
Josep M. Polo was a reference for those who had the luck to know him. It is quite difficult to explain the inner light Josep M. Polo had and shared in his daily routine with others, just check the literally hundreds of reactions we had on social networks from friends, colleagues and students to try to figure it out. If you can read in Spanish, you can check his personal blog at Medium and I would recommend you “La tesis, la vida” (2019) and “La tesis, la vida (2)” (May 2020).
This last Sept. 18, the monastery of Catholic University of Murcia hosted the funeral mass for his soul, with a hundred people (the maximum due to COVID restrictions) and many students, friends and family among them. University also did live streaming of ceremony for all those who could not attend.
Your legacy, inner happiness and way of life will stay with us. It is the least we can do.
Rest in peace, Josep.
*The author of this obituary is José M. Noguera-Vivo, Science Communication Manager of CA18230 and personal friend of Josep.