12 Twitter accounts that will make you smarter

Educate yourself 140 characters at a time

There's a well-established adage about Twitter that it's very much what you make it: your whole experience of the social network is defined by the accounts you choose to follow (or not follow). If you want to add some intelligence to your feed, we're here to help.

Once you start looking for intelligent, well-educated, informative Twitter accounts to follow - be they from people, companies, inanimate objects or organisations - you'll find there are a wealth of great timelines to tap into: here's a small selection of our favourites.

NASA (@NASA)

NASA tweets out some amazing stuff, not just on this main account but on the many spin-off accounts it runs (like @MarsCuriosity). Get the latest news on mankind's attempts to explore space, some truly breathtaking photos and videos, plus of course updates from research and engineering projects here on Earth.

Bill Nye (@BillNye)

One of the most famous names in science today, Bill Nye's Twitter bio reads thus: "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't." That kind of open-minded attitude to knowledge is shown throughout the man's timeline, where you can find informative links, facts, videos, quotes and more.

TED Talks (@TEDTalks)

The TED organisation is responsible for a global gathering of information in the form of on-stage talks from notable thinkers which are then made available online. Covering all kinds of topics across the technology and science spectrum, you're always going to have something interesting to watch or listen to here.

Wikipedia Twitter

Wikipedia (@Wikipedia)

Wikipedia is of course on a mission to gather together all of the world's knowledge in one place (from chemical processes to blockbuster movies) and its official Twitter feed offers links to plenty of interesting reads both from the site itself and other sources. Well worth clicking the Follow button on.

History In Pictures (@HistoryInPics)

There are times - let's admit it - when history lessons can seem dull and dry, but the way this feed combines visuals with nuggets of information is a winning strategy. What makes the account even better is the broad range of dates and topics it covers, from visions of the future to pop stars of the past.

Museum Nerd (@museumnerd)

Museums and art galleries are fantastic places for broadening your knowledge horizons, and whether or not you can actually get out to these places yourself, the Museum Nerd has you covered with some great photos and links to exhibitions. He also posts the occasional article of note from around the web.

British Library Twitter

The British Library (@britishlibrary)

The British Library is one of the most venerable repositories of learning in the world, but this official Twitter account is more than just a running update on its opening times and exhibitions: there are tweets here covering a wide range of informative facts and features, as well as links to other informative Twitter accounts.

Interesting Facts (@neverknownfacts)

The Twitter platform is perfect for short, sharp bursts of information and that's where this account comes in: featuring everything from bizarre trivia to genuinely useful life advice, you'll find it a constantly diverting source of information and entertainment, and there are dozens of updates pushed out every day.

Maria Popova (@brainpicker)

Maria Popova founded the Brain Pickings site, which pulls together all kinds of mind-expanding articles and links for your education and amusement. On her Twitter account you will come across links to Brain Pickings as well as interesting photos, observations and links from elsewhere on the internet.

MIT Tech Twitter

MIT Tech Review (@techreview)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is widely regarded as one of the world's leading research labs, and this is the Twitter account linked to its news and analysis site. It wants to "equip its audiences with the intelligence to understand a world shaped by technology" which gives you a good idea of what to expect.

Ulysses Reader (@UlyssesReader)

Getting smarter doesn't have to involve pumping your brain full of facts of course, and you can expand your mind in all kinds of directions - including literary ones. This is one of many great book, poem and play-related Twitter accounts out there, tweeting quotes from the landmark 1922 novel by James Joyce.

Lifehacker UK (@LifehackerUK)

Okay we're a little biased on this one, but the Twitter feed for one of our sister sites Lifehacker UK is packed with links to informative articles and eye-opening features that are guaranteed to help you live and work better. From the latest psychology research to tech tips, there's lots here.

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