The thing is, the traits as they are now aren't really designed for the cultural upgrade system. A separate trait system was being implemented whereby, each trait had a level, lvl 1, 2, 3 scientific. Level 1 would be much less powerful a version of the trait (designed specifically for early game). I got about half way through implementing this and it grew tiresome and time consuming, I still plan on finishing it (soon ). I personally don't play with that option on, the traits you choose, you choose from start to finish depending on the leader for me. I haven't played much scientific so, what im trying to say is - your probably right..