Originally I wanted my next blog post to be about the Superfund sites in Silicon Valley. In Mountain View alone there are seven hazardous waste sites that are commonly leftover from manufacturing facilities, like the production of semiconductors. In the case of Mountain View, these are Fairchild Semiconductor, Teledyne Semiconductor, CTS Pintex, Inc., Jasco Chemical Corp., Intel, Raytheon Corp.. and Spectra-Physics Inc.
The man who put the silicon in Silicon Valley through the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, William Shockley, has an even darker side to him. Shockley, a Nobel Prize winner for physics, weighed in on white supremacy and his view of genetic IQ differences. In a 2015 National Geographic article said about Shockley: “despite a complete lack of formal education in biology and genetics, Shockley tried to use these fields of study to support a set of racist ideas known as eugenics.”
In 1956 Shockley lectured at Stanford and in 1963 was appointed as professor of engineering. He taught until 1975, but I could find no evidence that Stanford distanced themselves from the racist Shockley who published articles about his extremist ideas while teaching at the university.
The city of Mountain View acknowledges the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory as the birthplace of Silicon Valley with a plaque and an art installation at the site of 391 San Antonio Rd. The original building was torn down and nowadays is part of The Village, a complex of shopping malls, office buildings, apartments, and restaurants.
Do you know of other dark sides of Silicon Valley?