The International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia (IPSS) was a seminal, ground-breaking study that revealed important information regarding schizophrenia on a global scale. Perhaps the most interesting and controversial finding was that for all outcome variables considered, patients suffering from schizophrenia in Nigeria and India (‘developing countries’) tended to ‘recover’ better than patients in the other six sites. However, in recent times, this finding has been repeatedly challenged. The renewed debate led to a vigorous rebuttal by some of the original IPSS study authors. In an increasingly globalised world, the IPSS stands as a reminder of the importance of the cultural determinants of recovery from schizophrenia.