Shock-compression research began in the 1940s for reasons of national defense. While military-related research will continue to be a major motivator of shock research, war between nations is not as probable today as it was in the last century. Today other issues are gaining national and international importance. This situation raises the possibility of redistribution of federal funding into fields other than those related directly to military research. It is timely to consider possible future directions that would put us in a position to obtain support to address emerging needs of society, while maintaining traditional expertise. Possibilities for future research at national and military laboratories and at universities are suggested in the context of ideas and questions posed in a recent report of the National Research Council of the National Academies. Dynamic-compression research is positioned to play a prominent role in general scientific research and such results are needed to enhance probabilities of achieving present and emerging technological goals of national importance.