The book “After the Genome: A Language for Our Biotechnical Future,” co-edited by Dr. James Herrick of the Hope College communication faculty, has been named the Edited Book of the Year by the Communication Ethics Division of the National Communication Association (NCA).

The award will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 23, during the NCA’s national convention, being held in Washington, D.C., on Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 21-24.

Herrick, who is the Guy Vander Jagt Professor of Communication at Hope, edited the book with Dr. Michael Hyde of Wake Forest University.  It was published in April in the “Studies in Rhetoric and Religion” series of Baylor University Press.

“After the Genome: A Language for Our Biotechnological Future” emphasizes the role of language in discussing biotechnological advances and how terminology itself shapes how such developments are perceived, and is a collection of a dozen essays by scholars from a variety of disciplines, including ethics, rhetoric, religion and science.  Two-and-a-half years in the making, it was released in conjunction with a national conference on the same theme that was co-chaired by Herrick and Hyde and held at Wake Forest on Friday-Saturday, April 12-13.

The division praised the book for its interdisciplinary approach to advancing understanding about bioethics and its relationship to communication.  In its notification of the award, the division noted, “Given the combination of disciplines and the excellence of the scholarship included in the volume, we believe this book may become a go-to collection for students and scholars exploring the important challenges of bioethics.”

Herrick has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1984.  His other books include “The History and Theory of Rhetoric,” fifth edition (Prentice Hall, 2012), “Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs” (InterVarsity Press, 2008), “The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition” (IVP Books, 2004) and “The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists” (University of South Carolina Press, 1997).  “The Making of the New Spirituality” was named a 2004 “Gold Medallion Book Award Finalist” by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association and was cited as one of “Ten Books Every Preacher Should Read” in “Preaching” magazine's 2004 survey of the year’s best books for preachers.

He has also had numerous articles appear in scholarly and popular publications in addition to presenting several papers at professional conventions, and wrote entries for both the “New Dictionary of National Biography” and “The International Encyclopedia of Censorship.”

Herrick is an active member of the NCA.  His extensive professional involvement includes having served as a founding member of the editorial boards of three professional journals:  “Review of Communication,” which is the electronic journal of the NCA; the Baylor University Pres Rhetoric and Religion Series; and the “American Communication Journal.”

He is a past recipient of research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  He was recognized for excellence in teaching by the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin.  He received the Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award from Hope in January 2007, and a faculty appreciation award from Hope students during the college’s 2007 Homecoming celebration.

Herrick holds his bachelor’s degree from California State University.  He received his M.A. from the University of California, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.