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
Lyx (some people like it)