This isn't a bug, just something which bugs. An example of a bug would be the interface re-choosing your current science focus if you load the game, then browse to a tech area not containing the tech you were studying. But your solution's got merit.
-edit: slight inaccuracy, the interface problem's unrelated to game load. whenever you are on the non-tree view, clicking an area [category] will already alter what your civ's studying, whereas the expected behavior is to display the options - like flashing a sub-menu - but not act like a choice had been made. this is very distracting