Choosing GNOME and not something else
I personally like GNOME and more so with GNOME 3. I have created a poll for you to vote for KDE or GNOME. Please go ahead and vote here
Update (Aug 18, 2011): My feelings for GNOME 3 is starting to change a bit :-) So, I have also created a KDE based Scientific spin, which I think I like more.
Packages currently Shipped
I should point out here that my idea is to have a generic toolset made available. The number of tools currently available in different domains- Physics, Chemistry, Biology is just too many. Including them all in one big spin may not make a lot of users happy, simply because if I am a engineering researcher, the Biology tools are just useless to me.
I haven't actively looked into applications which may not be available in the repository and is important to a spin such as this. Needless to say, I am going to take upon the responsibility of packaging such software, when I come across one, or its pointed to me.
If you come across a package which you want shipped, please add them here.
Science wallpapers? (For example, see here)
Suggestions for packages (already incorporated in the current KS file which was updated on August 7, 2011)
The current kickstart file includes most of these packages. (Those which have not been included are mentioned with some comments below)
Texlive 2009 or later (AMIT : IIRC, Texmaker pulls them in)
Kile (AMIT: Included in the KDE based spin)
Lyx (some people like it) (AMIT: Will be added)
dia (AMIT: Already in)
GGobi (AMIT: Will be added)
coqIDE etc (AMIT:IMO a little "niched" for Math folks?)
G3Data (AMIT: Will be added)
xfig (AMIT: Already in)
cantor (AMIT: Included in the KDE based spin)
scilab (AMIT: See )
rkward (AMIT: Will be added)
yacas (AMIT: Not yet packaged?)
euler (AMIT: Not yet packaged?)
ksnapshot (AMIT: Included in the KDE based spin)
gimp (AMIT: Will be added)
vpython (Proposed by AMIT)
referencer - a Bibliography manager (Proposed by AMIT)
mendeley-desktop - Manuscript library organisation. (Proposed by Cameron McPherson in a private discussion)
wine (Proposed by Cameron McPherson in a private discussion)
shutter - Screenshot grabbing tool (Proposed by Cameron McPherson in a private discussion)
pdf-shuffler - PDF manager (Proposed by Cameron McPherson in a private discussion)
backintime - Backup utility (Proposed by Cameron McPherson in a private discussion)
Packages to be added in the "next" Kickstart file
root (and associated tools - root, root-gui-fitpanel, root-physics, root-mathmore, root-minuit2, root-python) (Suggested by Lukas Middendorf)
PathScale EKO Path compilers (whenever they are ready for Fedora)
Torque and associated utils
(Notes to self: Check the dependency of the various packages, especially for dependencies on any specific DE libs)
The current kickstart file (October 5, 2011) contains the above packages and is now a beta release of F16.