A gift of a piece of land after the death of Shockley's wife with the stipulation that the land be named after Shockley is creating an outcry from the community of Auburn, CA. This is due after the discovery of Shockley's belief in Eugenics later in his life.
From the late 1960s until his death, Mr. Shockley publicly pushed his belief that there was a strong genetic component to intelligence that forms along lines of race. He also suggested that some people of below-average IQ be paid if they agreed to voluntary sterilization.
During a 1974 television interview, he gave what he called his "standard statement" to a questioner who asked if he thought blacks were of inferior intelligence: "The major cause of the American Negro's intellectual and social deficits is hereditary and racially genetic in origin and thus not remediable to a major degree by practical improvements in environment." In the segment, viewable on YouTube, he denied being a racist.
For many of us physicists, and certainly, it is true in my case, we respect the work that these prominent physicists did, but we certainly do not revere them the same way the general public do with many prominent figures. One can see in many instances where the quotes from these figures are often cited as if they are biblical truths. In fact, I've had "discussions" with a few crackpots in which they try to argue about the validity of something based on nothing more than a series of out-of-context quotations from various giants in physics.
Winning the Nobel Prize certainly allows for one's opinion to not only carry a bit of weight, but also gets the notoriety. Still, this particular case clearly highlights that these people can still make silly decisions.