Dr. Terrence (“Terry”) R. Dolan of Glenview will be discussing and signing copies of his new book, Children of the Kingdom: Bridging Genetics and Islam to Save the Newborns of Saudi Arabia, Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m., at The Book Stall, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka.
In 2001, after 20 years at the helm of the Waisman Center in Madison, Wisconsin, Dolan, now retired, was recruited by the Saudi Royal Family to address a major public health crisis affecting the newborns of their nation and to develop the first disabilities and childhood-disease research center in the Middle East outside of Israel (the King Salman Center for Disability Research). The Waisman Center in Madison is devoted to advancing knowledge about human development, developmental diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Children of the Kingdom chronicles Dolan’s early adventures in Saudi Arabia, from the mysterious recruitment process through the decision with his wife Mary Ann to pick up and relocate to another country in their 60s, to the scientific and cultural challenges—and absurdities—of solving the undertakings at hand under a restrictive Islamic regime with a nearly unrestricted amount of money.
Dr. Dolan is an expert at making complicated science accessible for the lay person. But his talk will go beyond the genetic science behind his work to include stories of day-to-day life in Saudi Arabia, living in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter with other westerners, working across faith/culture/ideology lines in the Middle East, what it’s like two work with a prince—and push a prince on women’s issues, and more that couldn’t go into the book.
Dolan particularly invites communities of different faiths, scientists, public health workers, and anyone interested in a firsthand view of life in Saudi Arabia and a front row seat to scientific progress.
Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International, said of Children of the Kingdom: “This is a book that is about a changing Saudi Arabia, the globalization of concern for children, the power of science, a family adventure, and hope. But mostly, it’s about one scholar’s lifelong goal of improving the lives of children at risk and one Prince’s goal of improving the lives of the children of his nation. It is a tale of possibility. We need many more like it.”
Among his many professional activities, Dr. Dolan was the Personal Science Advisor to Eunice Kennedy-Shriver for the 15 years prior to her death. In the mid-1990s, he traveled with Sargent Shriver to the Soviet Union to start Special Olympics there. He has been a member or advisor of the Executive Board of the Kennedy Foundation, Best Buddies International, International Special Olympics, and the Advisory Council of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, as well as a National Science Foundation representative to the National Institute on Neurological Diseases and Health and the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health.