Seize the Daylight
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About the Author

David Prerau


Dr. David Prerau
has been called the world's foremost authority on Daylight Saving Time (DST). He is the author of the highly acclaimed and definitive book on the story of DST, Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.

Seize the Daylight is the culmination of his many years of research into the history, science, and politics of daylight saving time. It is filled with lively anecdotes, engaging history, as well as the stories of DST's many colorful heroes and opponents, who fought often-bitter battles over control of the clock.


In addition to his in-depth research into the history of DST, Dr. Prerau was a key contributor to the largest technical study ever performed on the effects of DST. He has coauthored three major U.S. Government reports to Congress on the effects of daylight saving time.

Dr. Prerau acted as a consultant to the U.S. Congress on the recent law extending daylight saving time, and also has been a consultant on DST to the United Kingdom Parliament. He holds a Ph.D. from M.I.T.

As an expert on daylight saving time, Dr. Prerau has appeared on The NBC Nightly News, NBC's Today Show, ABC's Good Morning America, CNN NewsNight, CNN Headline News, CNN International Channel's Prism (Worldwide), PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNBC's Morning Call, Fox Business Network's Money for Breakfast, Bloomberg TV's Bloomberg on the Economy, MSNBC's Countdown, NECN's Wired, NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Weekend America, Talk of the Nation, and Bryant Park Project, Voice of America, BBC TV One's BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio Four's You and Yours, BBC Radio Five's Radio Five Live, Canada's CBC-TV Your Call, CBC Radio across Canada, Euranet Radio throughout the European Union, Australian Broadcasting's NightLife and Life Matters, Radio New Zealand's Morning Report, and over one hundred other radio and television programs in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and elsewhere.

Dr. Prerau has written Op-Ed pieces on daylight saving time for newspapers including the New York Times, and he has written articles on DST for magazines such as Discover and BBC's Who Do You Think You Are Magazine. He has been interviewed by newspapers and magazines in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and elsewhere, including USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Congressional Quarterly, the Associated Press, Toronto Star, the UK's Financial Times, Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun, and over one hundred others. In addition, he has written online articles for websites such as WebExhibits.com, and he has been interviewed for a number of online publications and websites, including National Geographic News, ABCNews.com, CNBC.com, Wall Street Journal Online, NPR.org, Marketwatch.com, thedaily.com, Slate Magazine, Wired.com, and many others.

He has given numerous talks about daylight saving time, including an invited lecture at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England.

Dr. Prerau first became involved with daylight saving time when he worked as a researcher for the U.S. Department of Transportation. There, he was a major contributor to what was probably the most extensive analysis of daylight saving time ever performed. This study examined the effect of daylight saving time on energy usage, motor vehicle accidents, crime, and many other areas.

While immersed in the detailed analysis of daylight saving time, he became intrigued by the subject. No one seemed to know much about the history of DST, and he determined to find out more about it. As he delved deeper into the story of daylight saving time, he found that DST had caused a great deal of passion and contention in the political and scientific worlds for many years. And in addition, he discovered a large number of remarkable DST incidents and fascinating anecdotes.

His book, Seize the Daylight, is the result of Dr. Prerau's many years of research—gathering information relating to daylight saving time from numerous sources, including newspaper articles, government records, legal documents, personal histories, and even cartoons, songs, and poetry—yielding an enjoyable and exciting book that presents an eye-opening look into all the many reasons why we spring ahead and fall back each year.

When the U. S. Congress was considering an extension of the daylight saving time period as part of the Energy Policy Act, Dr. Prerau acted as a consultant to the U.S. Congressmen who sponsored the DST measure. The law, including the DST extension, passed, and the DST change took effect in 2007. Most of the U. S. Representatives and Senators who hammered out the final version of the DST provision of the law had copies of Seize the Daylight with them.

Dr. Prerau also has conferred with several members of the United Kingdom's House of Commons and House of Lords to advise them concerning possible bills in Parliament to extend British Summer Time. When a Summer Time extension was considered in Parliamentary debate, Dr. Prerau and his work were cited several times.

Beyond his long association with and deep interest in daylight saving time, Dr. Prerau is a senior computer scientist and knowledge engineer, specializing in artificial intelligence. He is the author of two books and numerous technical papers on artificial intelligence. He lives in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.


For media requests, please contact:
Basic Books (212) 340-8107 or (212) 340-8163 or Basic.Publicity@perseusbooks.com
Or contact prerau@seizethedaylight.com

For speaking engagements, please contact: prerau@seizethedaylight.com

For further information on Seize the Daylight: info@seizethedaylight.com

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All material © David Prerau 2013