Are you sure that sticker wasn't supposed to go on your Leader card?
While the Research (2) sticker was clearly designed for the player reference card -- they must have realized at some point that destroying it wasn't fair -- so you were instructed to put it on your leader card. Just peel it off carefully and put it on the new card (or on your leader card).
I'm sure that's what the book said, I just put it on the wrong card. Thanks for the quick replies!