About Meghan Cochran

In all spheres humans make decisions based on a wide range of implicit and explicit beliefs that guide their understanding of the world and their place in it. I study what people believe, why they believe it, and how they translate those beliefs into action. My professional background is in product management in consumer technology. I study theology at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Previously, I studied literature at Bard College and NYU, and business administration at Harvard Business School.
Meghan Cochran studies human systems of belief, both as a technologist and as a student of religion, business, and literature.

NBN Episodes hosted by Meghan:

Carlos M. N. Eire, "They Flew: A History of the Impossible" (Yale UP, 2023)

June 16, 2024

They Flew

Carlos M. N. Eire
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

In the early modern era, seemingly impossible stories of levitation, bilocation, and witchcraft were common and believable. The important question of …

Jonathan H. Ebel, "From Dust They Came: Government Camps and the Religion of Reform in New Deal California" (NYU Press,2023)

June 7, 2024

From Dust They Came

Jonathan H. Ebel
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

From Dust They Came: Government Camps and the Religion of Reform in New Deal California (NYU Press, 2023) tells the story of the federal government’s …

Thea Gomelauri, "The Lailashi Codex: The Crown of Georgian Jewry" (Taylor Institution Library, 2023)

June 1, 2024

The Lailashi Codex

Thea Gomelauri
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

From a remote mountain village in the Caucasian mountains of Georgia came the most surprising discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls: a rare, beautiful,…

Tom Mueller, "How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine" (Norton, 2023)

May 29, 2024

How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine

Tom Mueller
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

Dialysis is a medical miracle, a treatment that allows people with kidney failure to live when otherwise they would die. It also provides a captive cu…

Joseph E. Stiglitz, "The Road to Freedom: Economics and the Good Society" (Norton, 2024)

May 20, 2024

The Road to Freedom

Joseph E. Stiglitz
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

In his latest book, The Road to Freedom: Economics and the Good Society (W. W. Norton, 2024), Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz rethinks the nature of…

Michael J. Graetz, "The Power to Destroy: How the Antitax Movement Hijacked America" (Princeton UP, 2024)

April 23, 2024

The Power to Destroy

Michael J. Graetz
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

The anti-tax movement is "the most important overlooked social and political movement of the last half century", according to our guest Michael J. Gra…

Alexej Lochmatow, "Public Knowledge in Cold War Poland: Scholarly Battles and the Clash of Virtues, 1945–1956" (Routledge, 2023)

April 1, 2024

Public Knowledge in Cold War Poland

Alexej Lochmatow
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

In the years after World War II, Polish scholars and scientists faced a complex and deeply personal political reality, the result of a long and violen…

David P. Gushee, "Defending Democracy from Its Christian Enemies" (William B. Eerdmans, 2023)

March 2, 2024

Defending Democracy from Its Christian Enemies

David P. Gushee
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

Why do some devout Christians support authoritarian leaders who threaten the very democracies that protect religious freedoms? The resounding suppor…

Paul Katsafanas, "Philosophy of Devotion: The Longing for Invulnerable Ideals" (Oxford UP, 2022)

February 13, 2024

Philosophy of Devotion

Paul Katsafanas
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

Why do some of our identity-defining commitments resist reason and critical reflection, and why do we persist in them even when they threaten our happ…

Vani Kant Borooah, "Economics, Religion and Happiness: God, Mammon and the Search for Spiritual and Financial Wealth" (Routledge, 2023)

February 5, 2024

Economics, Religion and Happiness

Vani Kant Borooah
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

Many books on happiness suggest that we have considerable control over our level of happiness by doing or not doing specific things, like mediation, e…

Neall W. Pogue, "The Nature of the Religious Right: The Struggle between Conservative Evangelicals and the Environmental Movement" (Cornell UP, 2022)

January 18, 2024

The Nature of the Religious Right

Neall W. Pogue
Hosted by Meghan Cochran

How does the Bible instruct humans to interact with the Earth? Over the last few decades, white conservative evangelical Christians have increasingly …