Cohen studied history at the University of Leiden, receiving a Ph.D. in 1974. He is currently a professor in the Comparative History of the Science at the University of Utrecht. Cohen is the brother of Job Cohen the Mayor of Amsterdam and son of the historian Dolf Cohen.
The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry, University of Chicago Press 1994, 680 pages, ISBN 0-2261-1280-2
Quantifying Music: The Science of Music at the First Stage of Scientific Revolution 1580-1650, Springer 1984, 332 pages, ISBN 9-0277-1637-4