Jamie Cohen-Cole's research and teaching examines how science shapes and has been molded in modern life; the history of education; and the cultural history of research universities. He focuses on how the work of scientists, social critics, educators and policy makers interact; the processes through which the sciences define normal human nature, the history of computing, and the values that shape intellectual culture.
His first book, The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature (University of Chicago Press, 2014) examines the conjunction of the cognitive and social sciences, norms of scientific reason, and the cultural politics of post World War II America. It was awarded an honorable mention by the Organisation of American Historians for its 2015 Fredrick Jackson Turner award for first book on any aspect of American history. His article on the “The Creative American” won the 2011 article prize from the Forum for History of Human Science.