Seize the Daylight
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About the Author

David Prerau

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

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 most recent law extending daylight saving time, and he has also 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, CBS This Morning, CNN NewsNight, CNN Headline News, CNN International Channel's Prism (Worldwide), PBS NewsHour, 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 World Service Radio, 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 several 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, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Toronto Star, the UK's Financial Times, The Economist, Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun, and over one hundred others. In addition, he has written online articles for websites such as and BBC, and he has been interviewed for a number of online publications and websites, including National Geographic News,,, Wall Street Journal Online,,,, Slate Magazine,, 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 last considering an extension of the daylight saving time period, Dr. Prerau acted as a consultant to the U.S. Congressmen who sponsored the measure. The DST extension passed and became law. Most of the U. S. Representatives and Senators who hammered out the final version of the DST provisions had copies of Seize the Daylight with them.

Dr. Prerau has also been an expert advisor to members of the UK's House of Commons and House of Lords, counseling them concerning proposed bills in Parliament related to 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's major work has been as a senior research computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence, and he has been a leading pioneer in the field of AI. He is the author of two books and over seventy published technical papers and reports on artificial intelligence and related fields. He lives in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

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All material © David Prerau 2020