Cohen studied history at the University of Leiden, receiving a Ph.D. in 1974. He is currently a professor in the Comparative History of Science at the University of Utrecht. Cohen is the brother of politician Job Cohen and son of the historian Dolf Cohen.
- The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry, University of Chicago Press 1994, 680 pages, ISBN 0-226-11280-2
- Quantifying Music: The Science of Music at the First Stage of Scientific Revolution 1580-1650, Springer 1984, 332 pages, ISBN 90-277-1637-4
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