Choosing GNOME and not something else
I personally like GNOME and more so with GNOME 3. Yes, hate me if you want to!
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)
Texlive 2009 or later Kile Lyx (some people like it)
dia GGobi coqIDE etc G3Data xfig cantor scilab rkward yacas euler ksnapshot gimp