Many years ago, I attended a lecture at my university that was given by William Shockley who received a Nobel prize along with others for their invention of the transistor. It was striking to me how the faculty reacted to him. They were truly in awe, and treated him with something close to reverence. I've always imagined that they received him that way because he received the Nobel prize, not because he invented the transistor, though it's just a feeling.
Shockley was a controversial figure toward the end of his life, including when I saw him, for his views on the relationship between intelligence and genetics, which were (are) considered racist. I didn't know anything about his views about that in advance. But before the lecture started, a group of minority students entered the lecture hall very dramatically and stood in front of the podium with arms crossed, facing the audience, staring straight ahead. Of course, they were peacefully expressing their displeasure about his views. A buzz went around, and folks like me who didn't know what was going on soon heard an explanation from someone nearby who did.
Shockley didn't speak at all about those views, and instead focused on the transistor and other appropriate topics. Suddenly, in the middle of the lecture, I noticed that the body language of students who were standing up front had changed. Instead of silently expressing their disdain for his views, their posture had softened and they were listening to his lecture with interest, just as I was. Except they were standing at the front rather than sitting in the seats.
If it weren't for his invention of the transistor - and possibly his receipt of the Nobel Prize - the world would little note nor long remember Shockley's views on the relationship between intelligence and genetics. Which, to be honest, seem kindda dumb for a man of his breeding.