Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, also called François Lecoq de Boisbaudran (18 April 1838 – 28 May 1912), was a French chemist known for his discoveries of the chemical elements gallium, samarium and dysprosium. He developed methods for separation and purification of the rare earth elements and was one of the pioneers of the science of spectroscopy.
Lecoq de Boisbaudran was a member of a noble family of Huguenots from the French provinces of Poitou and Angoumois. The Huguenots were French Protestants, a population that was devastated during the French Wars of Religion (1561–1598). The Edict of Nantes (1598) granted substantial civil rights to the Huguenots even though it maintained Catholicism's position as the established religion of France. The Edict of Nantes was overturned by the Edict of Fontainebleau (1685), which officially sanctioned persecution of Protestants. The Lecoq de Boisbaudran family was