In this paper, we present the results of an NHESS (Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences) 20th anniversary survey, in which 350 natural hazard community members responded to two questions: (Q1) "what are the top three scientific challenges you believe are currently facing our understanding of natural hazards"and (Q2) "what three broad step changes should or could be done by the natural hazard community to address natural hazards in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals"? We have analysed the data quantitatively and qualitatively. According to the 350 respondents, the most significant challenges (Q1) are the following (within brackets % of 350 respondents who identified a given theme): (i) shortcomings in the knowledge of risk and risk components (64ĝ€¯%), (ii) deficiencies of hazard and risk reduction approaches (37ĝ€¯%), (iii) influence of global change, especially climate change (35ĝ€¯%), (iv) integration of social factors (18%), (v) inadequate translation of science to policy and practice (17ĝ€¯%), and (vi) lack of interdisciplinary approaches (6ĝ€¯%). In order for the natural hazard community to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (Q2), respondents called for (i) enhanced stakeholder engagement, communication and knowledge transfer (39ĝ€¯%), (ii) increased management and reduction of disaster risks (34ĝ€¯%), (iii) enhanced interdisciplinary research and its translation to policy and practice (29ĝ€¯%), (iv) a better understanding of natural hazards (23ĝ€¯%), (v) better data, enhanced access to data and data sharing (9ĝ€¯%), and (vi) increased attention to developing countries (6ĝ€¯%). We note that while the most common knowledge gaps are felt to be around components of knowledge about risk drivers, the step changes that the community felt were necessary related more to issues of wider stakeholder engagement, increased risk management and interdisciplinary working.