This issue of the Schizophrenia Bulletin provides a forum for the presentation of early results and speculative hypotheses based on the application of molecular genetic methods for linkage studies in schizophrenia. Contributors were given the freedom to explore the historical and theoretical perspectives on the genetics of schizophrenia. They were also asked to balance their enthusiasm and cautious skepticism at the new suggestions of linkage involving chromosome 5 (Sherrington et al. 1988). In this overview, the epidemiologic evidence for a genetic factor in schizophrenia and recent linkage studies are briefly discussed. In addition, the potential and limitations of different linkage strategies in schizophrenia are examined.