WFL you can get bonus if you're tech leader. It's measuring your bonus as to how far behind you are in size (2 parts only - 50% comes from how far behind you are in size of # of cities and 50% comes from how far behind the leader you are in population - leaders in each category can be different leaders, so really, the whole board CAN benefit from WFL in some rare cases.) The idea is to reflect that small nations don't actually have a natural disadvantage in terms of research historically. Sometimes the size of the nation gives its people an issue with complacency due to the sense of dominance. Mathematically, it helps a lot to counter the coalescing power of massive steamrolling nations.Weird occurrence with WFL and/or TD on rev 11501: I'm pretty sure I was already the tech leader and I was not getting any TD/WLF. I discovered Sedentary Lyfestyle first, so no doubt that I was tech leader, I also got my free tech as well, but then I started to receive significant amounts of TD/WLF after that. I do also have beelining stings so maybe there is some odd interaction going on. I'll attach the save.
Only TD cares if you are the tech leader and then doesn't give you anything, though I THINK if you are missing some techs other nations you know have, you can STILL get benefit for knowing a nation that knows some things you don't (when researching those things.)
So really, being tech leader is nowhere near a full reason one cannot get any bonus from these sources.