We have analyzed 114 meetings between brown bears (Ursus arctos) and personnel in bear research projects in Sweden and Norway, reviewed the Scandinavian literature, 1750-1962, regarding people injured and killed by bears, and analyzed instances of human injuries relating to bear attacks during the more recent period, 1976-1995. The last time people were killed by bears was in 1902 in Sweden and in 1906 in Norway. However, most meetings between bears and humans result in the bear leaving. We observed no direct attacks, but bluff charges occurred in 4% of the meetings. Blowing and growling were apparently warning behaviors associated with the presence of cubs or carcasses. Seven people have been injured in Scandinavia in the past 20 years; 6 were hunters, and in five cases the bear was wounded or possible wounded. We conclude that the most dangerous situation is when a bear is wounded. In addition, we identified several situations that contributed to increased levels of aggressiveness among bears. They are, in decreasing importance : the presence of cubs, proximity to a carcass, proximity to a den, and the presence of a dog. Our results showed that the Scandinavian brown bear is not particularly dangerous. A relatively high proportion of wounded bears may have contributed to the apparently higher levels of fatalities in the last century.