I wanted to bring to your attention my efforts at creating a Fedora
Scientific Spin . I have put in the spin page  some of my goals,
the reasons of the packages I have selected and the current state of
Reproducing from there:
This spin will be based on the Fedora desktop spin. In addition, a
number of tools and libraries for scientific research is included. I
have decided upon the current set of applications based on my own
experience and some discussions on mailing lists, notably the Canberra
Linux Users Group.
The current set of packages include a IDE, tools and libraries for
programming in C, C++, Python, Java and R. Also included alongwith are
libraries for parallel computing such as the OpenMPI and OpenMP. Tools
for typesetting, writing and publishing are included. Scientific
computing libraries and tools such as the GNU Scientific Library,
SciPy, Octave, Maxima are also shipped in this spin.
The current set of packages are provided from the Fedora 15 repository
for my tests and the ISO stands at ~1.6 Gigs. I am currently using it
on my Desktop and after installation takes about ~6 gigs of disk
space. Since Fedora 15 is stable, so is Fedora Scientific!
(NB: As of now, the Rawhide repository is far from being stable and I
hence I have refrained from using it for my testing.)
Like I have pointed out in the spin page, I want this spin to be under
the umbrella of the SciTech SIG and hence invite all of you to kindly
make your suggestions/comments.
I shall keep the list updated on the progress of this effort,
specially the outcome of the spin wrangling process.