Though the link between creative genius and mental illness is often accepted as conventional wisdom, a new study presents evidence that the association has a genetic basis. Polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were found to be higher in members of national artistic societies than in nonmembers. A similar effect arose in people whose creativity was assessed via a questionnaire about artistic pursuits. The correlation between creativity and the genetic risk of psychosis disorders could not be explained by differences in cognitive function, education or family history of schizophrenia.