FMBR Editorial: Jan, 2001
Robert L. Shacklett, Ph.D. (1926-2000)
Everybody called him Bob. He was born in Van Nuys, CA, but the family moved to Fresno during the depression when he was 5. He graduated from Clovis Union High School, and was class valedictorian. From early childhood, he was driven by scientific curiosity. He built his own radio at age 12 and got his Ham radio license at age 13 – the youngest holder of such a license at that time. Because of the shortage of technical personnel during the war years, at age 15 he was employed as an engineer/announcer at radio KFRE in Fresno and assisted in the conversion and installation of KFRE’s TV channel 30. At age 17 he enlisted and served in the U.S. Navy as a radar and electronics specialist in Guam.
After the war he obtained Bachelor and Master degrees from California State University, Fresno (CSUF). He received his Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, where he studied under several Nobel Laureate professors, including Dr. Richard Feynman, and did research on the quantum vacuum. Dr. Shacklett returned to CSUF and served as professor of Physics, and later Dean of Graduate Studies. During a year sabbatical he did research on sub-molecular structures at the University of Sweden in Uppsala. He also held several patents in communication systems.
After retirement from the University in 1979, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area and in 1984 to Santa Cruz County. Here he pursued his growing interests in scientific exploration and research into the relationship between, matter, mind, and consciousness. He was Executive Director, Vice President, and Board Member of the Foundation for Mind-Being Research.
He developed a scientifically based model of the mind/matter connection, published numerous papers, and gave lectures and seminars on the various aspects of the subject. He was an active member of Noetic Sciences, was on the Physics of Humanity Counsel as a scientific advisor to the Institute of HeartMath, and was associated with numerous scientific organizations that are dedicated to pushing the frontiers of science. For the last 15 years Bob was also active in the Cal Tech Alumni Association’s fund raising efforts, serving as area chair and later national coordinator for the Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy departments.
Bob was a true Renaissance man with wide interests and talents. He loved to work with tools and his hands. He built a 4,000 square foot home almost single handedly that included a 35-foot geodesic dome. He loved classical music, so he built and learned to play a two manual full pedal electronic organ. He spent six months on the Navaho reservation setting up a physics course at the Ganado Junior College; and a summer in Taiwan studying their technology and educational needs. He traveled in Europe, spent a summer in Hawaii, and explored the United States and Mexico with a motor home.
Bob was a gentle spirit with a keen mind, an insatiable scientific curiosity, love in his heart and a twinkle in his eyes. He was much loved, respected and admired by family, friends and colleagues. He will be greatly missed by all.