He is passionate about palaeontology, studies philosophy and he's writing a fantasy book.

Jakub Nowicki, a visually impaired student of philosophy at the University of Gdansk, has a passion for palaeontology. However, due to his visual dysfunction, he decided not to study geology. He decided to go into philosophy. In his free time, Jakub writes a fantasy book set in medieval times. As he points out, good fantasy makes it possible to address interesting, universal philosophical and psychological content indirectly. 'A Ray of Hope', which he has been working on since he was 12, is due to be published in bookstores next spring.

He is currently completing his second year of a master's degree in philosophy. He has been fascinated by palaeontology since primary school, and although the field still fascinates him today, he decided to go in a different direction.

- 'I intended to go into geology, but over time I found that it can be technically difficult because of the visual elements. I'm blind, and all of the natural sciences are accompanied by chemistry, physics, microscope classes, where sight comes in very handy though. I knew that I wouldn't be able to fully realise myself there. So I decided to go into philosophy. I don't regret it,' says Jakub Nowicki, a student at the University of Gdansk. - 'In both my theses I tried to combine my interests in philosophy and palaeontology, writing on the philosophy of evolutionism. In my bachelor's thesis, I wrote about empathy and altruism from the perspective of evolutionism, and in my master's thesis, I dealt with evolution as seen by Stanisław Lem. My first research paper, which is based on my Bachelor's degree, has also been submitted for review. The topic is the evolution of moral behaviour from the perspective of Darwinism.'

Jakub Nowicki loves literature - as he admits, books have accompanied him since childhood. His literary authorities include Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Andrzej Sapkowski.

- 'My adventure with reading started very early. Even before I read Harry Potter as my first major novel, my parents and grandparents used to read me various stories from a very young age. Perhaps my literary tastes were already being formed then. Most often I read fantasy, but also travel books, especially about distant continents. Sometimes I also read a historical novel, a science book or a popular science book. It's easier to say what I don't read - novels of manners, they're too mundane,' he says.

A student of the University of Gdansk is just finishing work on his first fantasy novel entitled 'A Ray of Hope'. He started working on it at the age of 12. At first, he wrote in Braille, then he moved to a sound-enabled computer, which meant a lot of work - he had to rewrite several hundred pages of the novel.

- 'When I started writing this book at the age of twelve, it was supposed to be a short story. I planned to finish it in a few days. I ended up with nine hundred pages and several years of work. It is a typical fantasy story set in a reality similar to that of, for example, The Lord of the Rings. There are elves, dwarves, humans, but also centaurs and phoenixes. Initially, the inspiration came from the film "The Last Unicorn". Anyway, the main character was a unicorn in the first version. But then I grew up, and the book with me. The heroine changed from a unicorn to a forest nymph, and the novel was enriched with new plot motifs and more existential references. I won't reveal more, I've said too much anyway.'

The book, written by a UG student, is due to be published in spring 2022.

Elżbieta Michalak-Witkowska/Zespół Prasowy UG