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15 Twitter accounts that will make you more intelligent

15 Twitter accounts that will make you more intelligent

15 Twitter accounts that will make you more intelligent
18 September 2015

Okay, so there's an important caveat with this collection of accounts.

You're only going to become more intelligent if you take the time to read the content, articles and observations they share with their Twitter fans. Just hitting "Follow" isn't going to your IQ a jot.

So get following, get reading and you'll soon find yourself with more conversation starters than "Watch the game last night?".

Electric Literature


Like books? Like pretending to like books, if only to give yourself an impression of depth and wisdom? Then you'll love Electric Literature. 

A constant feed of the latest literature discussions, new book extracts and an assortment of novel stuff. 

Get reading.

Ben Zimmer


His Twitter pic might bare a concerning resemblance to George Osborne, but Ben Zimmer isn't about to start talking about British unemployment rates. 

Zimmer is a linguist and writer for Wall Street Journal - and he loves words. Bloody adores them.

Vocab, grammar and conjugations, Zimmer will beef up your vernacular in a matter of days.



Yep, those guys from that Tom Hanks film. The one with the Moon. Everyone in space was going to die, then they didn't. 

NASA is continuing to do some amazing things, from new technologies that'll change life on this planet and get us to new ones. 

Great for images of what the universe looks like, astronaut life facts and everything your six-year-old self used to dream about.

Letters of Note


Historical figures, pop icons and guys you've never heard of: Letters of Note will educate you on all of their interesting correspondences in link and picture form.

Jimi Hendrix's army record, Tarantino casting notes, Churchill's telegrams - they all make for excellent reads. 

Maria Popova


Maria Popova tweets a lot. Like, at least twice an hour. And every single Tweet (apart from the occasional witty observation) is bound to take you to a new article on creative learnings, philosophical ponderings or culture-enhancing facts.

If you're ever trapped on a bus in need of some brain food, just head over to her feed and you're bound to find something to improve your brain space.

How stuff works


An account that does what it says in the handle - How Stuff Works will tell you... we won't patronise you.

Some articles might require a basic understanding of engineering and science, others will take you through things from an 'idiot-proof' perspective. 

Constantly interesting. 

Mental Floss


Facts. Lots of facts. More facts than you can possibly read - but it's worth trying.

From pop culture to scientific proofs, this is the sort of thing that'll fuel your Facebook posts and pub quiz knowledge for months to come. 

The QI Elves


Anyone who's flicked onto the Dave TV channel for more than five seconds will have come across the BBC's fact-based comedy panel quiz. It's the one that perpetuates Stephen Fry's standing as England's greatest national treasure.

The QI Elves are those fact-checking bods behind the show's questions, topics and facts - digging their way through archives of mildly interesting and totally mind-blowing subjects. 

Perfect ammo for fact-bombing that next dinner party. 

Brian Solis


Facebook isn't just about status updates. Instagram isn't just about filters. The internet isn't just about porn.

Solis is a leading digital marketing analyst, but that's a lot more interesting than it sounds. If you want to stay abreast of social media changes, the web's next 'big thing' or blag some ideas for your next marketing meeting, Solis is your guy.

New Scientist


You're going to need to subscribe to the New Scientist if you want to read all of their brain-expanding articles, but their Twitter account is a great resource for flagging up amazing science stories.

Weird animal sex facts, important medical breakthroughs and brilliant science news abounds from this feed - giving you a quick insight into what's important in the world of labs. 

National Geographic Photography


A feast for the eyes, this is one that'll improve your brain via your visual cortex.

National Geographic has long been a bastion of world-leading photography, and this twitter account skims the cream off the top. There's the occasional article thrown in there as well, that'll always hinge on one superb image. 

Bill Gates


Former richest man in the world, former head of Microsoft, now committed to sorting out bigger issues like preventable diseases and world hunger.

Given his vast intelligence and free time being all philanthropic, Gates tweets a heck of a lot of amazing stuff on subjects as far ranging as climate change and feminism.

Wait, But Why?


"Fun article on why small animals (like the hilarious shrew) are so tweaky/quick and big animals are so mellow/slow."

You want to read that, don't you? How about this...

"How (and why) SpaceX will colonize Mars."

Articles on things you've always thought about, and things that have never occurred to you, written in concise, understandable form. Top marks.

Alain de Botton


Philosophy usually doesn't work on Twitter, reducing insights into horrible quotes that end up on Facebook statuses or on arty pictures. De Botton is an exception.

Quoting philosophical giants, his own words and his own work, de Botton offers up a smorgasbord of intellectual stimulus. 

"We mostly lose our tempers not with those who are actually to blame; but with those who love us enough to forgive us our foul moods."


Ted Talks


What do you mean you're not following TED Talks?

Stop reading this article this instant (just as well, as you've finished it now), head over to their feed and keep scrolling until you see an idea that interests you.

Like, "We should be working with nature, not trying to control it."

Then watch the related talk, and let it blow your mind right out your ear holes.