This paper presents the life and work of Henry Beaunis, the founder and the director of the first french laboratory of experimental psychology (1889). Born in Amboise in 1830, he was educated in Rouen before undertaking his medical studies in Paris. He continued his studies in Montpellier where he earned his M.D. in 1856. Then, he joined the army as a medical officer. In 1861, he was an assistant in charge of preparation in the Army Medical School of Strasbourg. He passed his agrégation of physiology in 1863 before teaching at the University and School of Medicine in Strasbourg. After the franco-prussian war in 1870, he was promoted to be professor of physiology (1872) in Nancy. Although he was an eminent french physiologist, he was interested in psychology and became one of the most representative scholars of the School of Nancy with Liébault, Bernheim and Liégeois. In 1888, he asked Louis Liard, through the philosopher Théodule Ribot, for the creation of the Laboratory of Physiological Psychology. He was the first director of the laboratory (1889-1894) before Alfred Binet became his successor (1895-1911). This laboratory was attached to the « Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes » (EPHE) and was established in the Sorbonne. In 1891, Alfred Binet rejoined the laboratory that he contributed to develop and created the Année Psychologique ira 1894. Retired from teaching in 1893, Beaunis left the laboratory of the Sorbonne in 1895 due to bad health. From this date he rarely published in the domain of psychology.
He devoted himself to poetry, music, theater and literature before his death July 11, 1921 in Cannet at the age of 91 years.