I suggest that there are two distinct branches of eScience, both fundamentally enabled by the explosion of capabilities inherent in the information age. The first concerns the use of numbers, measurements from arrays of sensors, outputs from simulations, and so forth. The techniques of eScience increase our ability to perceive massive amounts of data by factors of billions or trillions. I call this Machine Assisted Perception.
The second branch of eScience concerns the use of words, the verbal abstractions used by humans to communicate ideas. The new technologies of digital libraries and search engines have already substantially changed the scholarly thought process, growth in the capabilities of these technologies continues to be rapid. I call this machine/human collaboration Machine Assisted Thought.