Fear and anxiety play a central role in mammalian life, and there is considerable interest in clarifying their nature, identifying their biological underpinnings, and determining their consequences for health and disease. Here we provide a roundtable discussion on the nature and biological bases of fear- and anxiety-related states, traits, and disorders. The discussants include scientists familiar with a wide variety of populations and a broad spectrum of techniques. The goal of the roundtable was to take stock of the state of the science and provide a roadmap to the next generation of fear and anxiety research. Much of the discussion centered on the key challenges facing the field, the most fruitful avenues for future research, and emerging opportunities for accelerating discovery, with implications for scientists, funders, and other stakeholders. Understanding fear and anxiety is a matter of practical importance. Anxiety disorders are a leading burden on public health and existing treatments are far from curative, underscoring the urgency of developing a deeper understanding of the factors governing threat-related emotions.