Punset passed away in Barcelona following a lengthy illness, relatives said in a Twitter post that included video highlights from a public broadcaster's science show that Punset hosted for more than 18 years with his charismatic mix of passion and irony.
Punset was an economist who worked for the International Monetary Fund. He held a brief ministerial role in the early years of Spain's transition to democracy, and held a seat in the European Parliament from 1987 to 1994.
The family's statement said that Punset's "insatiable curiosity and eternal optimism" were at the heart of his efforts "to share ideas and knowledge."
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