I. Bernard Cohen biography

I. Bernard Cohen


1914 – 2003


Who was I. Bernard Cohen?

I. Bernard Cohen was the Victor S. Thomas Professor of the history of science at Harvard University and the author of many books on the history of science and, in particular, Isaac Newton.

Cohen was the first American to receive a Ph.D. in history of science, was a Harvard undergraduate and then a Ph.D. student and protégé of George Sarton who was the founder of Isis and the History of Science Society. Cohen taught at Harvard from 1942 until his death, and his tenure was marked by the development of Harvard's program in the history of science. He went on to succeed Sarton as editor of Isis and, later, president of the Society; he was also a president of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science.

Cohen was an internationally recognized Newton scholar; his interests were encyclopedic, ranging from science and public policy to the history of computers, with several decades as a special consultant for history of computing with IBM. Among his hundreds of publications were such major books as Franklin and Newton, The Birth of a New Physics, The Newtonian Revolution, Revolution in Science, Science and the Founding Fathers, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer, and his last book, The Triumph of Numbers, not to mention two jointly authored contributions, the variorum edition and new English translation of Newton's Principia.


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Mar 1, 1914
New York City
  • Harvard University
  • Harvard University
Jun 20, 2003

on July 23, 2013

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